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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Roots Market spreads the vegan love

Roots Market, 2018 Retailer of the Year finalist, Best Community Project
Roots Market's vegan mission makes it stand out among natural retailers. For this, it earned a finalist position as Retailer of the Year Best Community Project.

Roots Market, a two-store Maryland-based retailer, opened in 2000 with the goal of providing the community with quality organic and non-GMO products from local farms and businesses. Its Clarksville location serves as the home base for not just the stores but also Nest (an earth-friendly clothing and gifts retailer) and Great Sage (an organic vegan eatery).

“Our mission is to be passionate about the foods we eat, the people we serve, and the planet we share,” says Katie Smallwood, marketing and community outreach leader. “Our Clarksville location, which houses all three businesses, offers the perfect opportunity for those in the DC metro area and beyond to make their travels that much more worthwhile. We thrive off the energy of meeting new people, seeing familiar faces, and making our community happy on a daily basis.”

Here are just three ways Roots Market leverages its passion to bring change to the community:

Partnering with advocates. “We feel strongly that connecting the community with local health advocates is important,” says Smallwood, which is why the store offers Roots Cares Classes throughout the year on Monday evenings. This allows local, like-minded educators the ability to share their knowledge with those who attend, including Roots team members eager for continued education. “Giving back to the community provides us the opportunity to share our mission with our guests on a daily basis,” she adds.

Supporting key causes. For every reusable bag a guest brings, they can donate their bag credit (10 cents) to one of three causes: an animal welfare organization, environmental nonprofit or a people-focused initiative, changed every six months. Then, the market matches that donation.

Store tours. Roots offers store tours with scout groups and others, to teach the basics of shopping healthy and eating vegan. “We make them a cheat sheet to take home too,” Smallwood says.

The other Retailer of the Year Best Community Project finalists are:

Little House Green Grocery

The Natural Foods Merchandiser/Natural Products Expo winners will be announced Friday night at Natural Products Expo East 2018.

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